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Featured Pro: Curtis Stone Category: Cooking Time: 3:00
CURTIS STONE: Hey, I’m Curtis Stone. And this next GMC Trade Secret won’t get you in a pickle. I’ll teach you how to make your own.
Basically, pickles are great. Everybody loves them. And they’re really super-simple to make.
Over here I’ve got a little pot of water. Now, there’s three essential ingredients when you’re talking about pickles, and they’re all preservers. So we’ve got vinegar. That goes into your water. And then the other two preservers are your sugar and your salt. So you throw those two in. Now, that’s a basic pickle – vinegar, sugar, salt, and a little bit of water.
What you want to do is just bring it up to the boil and make sure that your sugar and your salt dissolve. So I’m going to give it a little stir. We’ve got our basic pickle going. Now it’s time for the flavor. Now, I’m going to do cucumbers today. I’m going to pickle these little bad boys. So what I thought I’d do is throw a few little flavors, but not too much. I’ve got some mustard seeds, some peppercorns; I’m going to throw those two in. I’ve also got some fennel seeds, so I’m going to throw those in as well. You throw them into the pickle and just let a little bit of that flavor come out while it’s coming to the boil.
Here I’ve got some chili pepper and some garlic, which I love the flavor of and it’s really good with vinegar. Now, I want it to be quite spicy, so I’m going to slice up the chili pepper nice and fine. If you didn’t want it so spicy, you could just cut the chili pepper in half; a bit more like that and just throw that in.
What you need is a jar that can close and be airtight. So into my jar I’m going to take my cucumbers and throw those in, and then you put in your flavor. So I’m going to put in my chili pepper, slice up a couple of cloves of garlic – not too fine, because I don’t want the garlic to be too strong and overtake the flavor of the pickle. And then I want to put in some fresh herbs, so over here I’ve got some fresh dill and also some tarragon.
And, you know, like I always say about food, it’s down to you, what sort of flavors you like. If you like parsley and rosemary, then put that in. You know, just experiment a little bit with it.
So I’m just going to roughly chop my herbs. Lovely. Throw those in to the jar. Beautiful. Now, I’ve pretty much prepared my pickle. It’s taken all of 30 seconds. So come back over here and let’s have a look at what’s going on. I’m just going to feel the bottom of my saucepan for the sugar and the salt, and it’s pretty much gone. Yeah, I can’t feel it all, so it’s dissolved – great.
I’m going to turn that off and take my pickle mixture over here. I’m just going to pour it out of a jug, because it’s a bit easier to pour from. There you go. Lovely. And then you just pour this straight into your jar. Now, the only important thing about this is that you don’t seal it until it’s come down to room temperature. Then you stick it into the fridge. It needs to pickle for at least 10 days before you start to eat it, but you can leave it for a good month. Make sure it’s refrigerated.
So that’s it. How simple is making your own pickle? I’m Curtis Stone, and that’s my GMC Trade Secret.